You may be a tried and true veteran of this longstanding homestead traditon or you may be new at it and ready to take the plunge.  Either way, it doesn’t matter if you live in the country or the city, buying in bulk can be a money (and time) saver if you do it right. If, like us, you are preparing your long term pantry for whatever reason (weather, gas savings, economic future) there truly are some key points to keep in mind when learning to buy in bulk.

First, just a little explanation on bulk buying? Well, it’s not just buying a lot (as in multiple items all at once). It IS buying larger than typical amounts of the same item. One can of green peas is always going to cost more per can than when we can find them sold by the case. Then, each can is substantially lower in price, because we have a dozen or so of them.

Secondly, buying in bulk often, but not always, is less expensive in the long run. Time saved, gas saved and quantity discounts (as above mentioned) add up to being dollars stretched over time. Less trips to the store saves gas in the tank.

Third, bulk buying doesn’t have to be done in the big warehouse stores. When a local grocer had tomato sauce on sale for $.30 a large can, I bought 8 of them. There are still 7 of them in my pantry and the sale was 3 months ago. The price has risen again, but here I have 7 more cans of  tomato sauce for thirty cents sitting ready for us to use.  Most of the time I can tomatoes, but to be honest the sauce takes too long for me and heats up our kitchen in the summer. This bulk buy was/is a big time and money saver for us.

Fourth, remember not to buy it – even if it seems like a great deal – if no one in the family will use it, or eat it before it goes bad! Fresh fruits and veggies are aften a good buy in wholesale clubs, but if you have 3 pounds of strawberries going bad in the cooler to throw out, then you have still wasted your hard earned money.

Fifth, learn how to store bulk items.  Dry items need to be kept in a moisture proof container. Even large bags of rice and oats are easily stored for months on end in the right container…see here….